Pig Industry Board exploring ways to increase revenue streams
Harare (New Ziana) THE Pig Industry Board (PIB) is developing irrigation infrastructure at its two stations, in the capital and in Bulawayo, to enable it to diversify into horticulture in order to increase revenue streams.
PIB director, Erica Takaendesa, told New Ziana that the board was also considering expanding the area that can be irrigated in order to alleviate challenges of poor harvests in drought seasons.
“The mandate, being developmental, does not result in generation of meaningful revenue to fund activities like research and extension,” she explained.
The PIB receives support from the Government through annual budgetary allocations for recurrent and capital expenditure.
Farmers were also supposed to pay a levy through registered abattoirs, when they delivered their pigs for slaughter.
However, some farmers do not slaughter the pigs in abattoirs but at their farms, resulting in the PIB getting low revenue inflows.
“The challenge does not only result in low revenue inflows, but also poses a danger of disease spread as the pigs will not be inspected,” she said.
“Pigs slaughtered in abattoirs are inspected and graded by the veterinary division in the Ministry PIB advises producers and make them aware of the challenge of diseases through training”.
Takaendesa said shortage of human resources coupled with an old vehicle fleet for extension work, were hampering the PIB from effectively executing its mandate.
As a result, she explained, the PIB was working closely with the Agritex and the Veterinary Services Department to increase coverage.
“Running the Train the Trainer courses for extension officers, results in the information being shared with many farmers when the officers in turn run piggery courses,” she said.
The PIB was also considering establishing stations in other provinces to increase its coverage, she said.
“PIB is in two provinces and there is need to decentralise. Collaborating with other institutions is a way forward under consideration. The aim is to improve service delivery,” she explained.
The PIB is a parastatal under the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water
Climate and Rural Development.
It was founded in 1937 to assist farmers to venture into pig production.
In 1952, a research station was established at Arcturus, about 26 kilometres northeast of the capital, and a second one was established about 15 kilometres outside Bulawayo in 1988.
There are piggeries at the Arcturus and Bulawayo stations, which are used for research, training and extension purposes as well as being the principal sources of revenue for the PIB.